New manager of The Oaks pub, Highcliffe, in bid to place venue at ‘heart of the village’
THE new manager of a Highcliffe pub is looking to form stronger links with the community by offering facilities free of charge to local groups.
Jack Halford arrived at The Oaks just a few weeks ago, but he has already started hosting events and reaching out to community groups in a bid to place the venue at the heart of the village.
A pumpkin carving event last weekend was a resounding success, and the pub is now gearing up for a Christmas Fair to be held in a marquee in the garden on 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th December.
“The fair is being organised by Mandy, from local events group Stir, and we’re providing the space,” said Jack. “There will be around 15 stalls each day, run by local traders and selling crafts including candles, jewellery and Christmas decorations.
“There will also be live music by singers and choirs, and plenty of hot chocolate and mulled wine.”
The Oaks has also launched ‘Meet the producer’ evenings, with guests so far including Southbourne-based Conker Spirit and New Forest Cider. Events include talks about the brand and tastings.
Jack is currently in talks with the organisers of Highcliffe’s music and food festivals over how the pub can get involved.
“We’re in discussion about perhaps hosting a pre-festival event,” said Jack, continuing: “We do very well as a restaurant but we want to promote ourselves, also, as a community pub.
“As long as groups don’t sell or offer food and drink, they are welcome to use our space free of charge. We have a great covered, heated garden which is ideal for events and guests to dine even throughout the winter months.”
Live music nights every Wednesday will run until the end of November, and the pub’s lunch club menu offers two courses for £19.50.
Jack waited tables at The Oaks when it first opened in 2019, going on train as assistant manager at Brasserie Blanc in Bournemouth and then opening the Heartwood group’s site in Parkstone, The Britannia.
The Oaks is owned by Heartwood Collection, founded by celebrity chef Raymond Blanc in 1996.
It has just received a top three-star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association for its waste management processes and its efforts to ethically source food.
For more information or to book a table at The Oaks, visit https://oakshighcliffe.com/ or call 01425 283377.